The VIC's Nordic Trail System:
Ski and Snowshoe Trails
|This site is no longer being updated with information on the VIC's ski and snowshoe trails. For current information on classic ski, skate ski, and snowshoe trails at the VIC, visit: http://www.paulsmiths.edu/vic/ski/winter-trails/#2.|
During the winter months, the Paul Smiths VIC becomes a cross-country ski center with over 25 miles of trails for cross country skiing, skate skiing, and snowshoeing. Many of the VIC's smoother trails do not need a great deal of snow to be ski-able. Moreover, Paul Smiths often gets noticeably more snow than other places in the Adirondacks, which means the VIC's Nordic trails are frequently ski-able at times when snowfall is limited.
Classic cross- country ski trails are typically groomed 4 feet wide with a snowmobile and grooming equipment. Track is set when conditions permit. Classic ski trails are open to snowshoers. Please avoid walking in set tracks.
- WOODS AND WATERS TRAIL: This trail is a 3.0 mile (one way) route that crosses through the varied habitats of the VIC property. Cross the floating bridge, ski through open hardwoods and conifers and through a dense balsam section by the lean-to on Little Black Pond. Follow the red trail markers.
- HERON MARSH TRAIL: This is a 3 mile loop that circles Heron Marsh. Features of interest include Shingle Mill Falls, the Lester family home site, several observation platforms, a 900’ boardwalk, and scenic vistas across the marsh. Follow the light grey trail markers.
- ESKER TRAIL: This route is accessed from the Logger’s Loop Trail. The trail features a significant climb with switch backs and a series of enticing vistas. The 1.5 mile connector trail is in the center of the VIC property. There are challenging up and downhill grades on this recently logged terrain. Please use caution! Ski the trail clockwise to best navigate steep terrain. Follow the light green trail markers.
- BOBCAT TRAIL: This trail is the connector route from the Paul Smith’s College campus. The 1.25 mile trail can be accessed by the VIC building or across the road from the Saunders Sports Complex. Follow the orange trail markers.
- SILVI TRAIL: This one-mile trail intersects with the Woods and Waters Trail, leading through a forest plantation which was developed on the site of the St. Regis Golf Club. Follow the blue trail markers.
These trails are typically groomed 8' to 10’ wide with the VIC's quadra-tracked or snowmobile groomers. The trails are packed and rolled as conditions permit. Skate trails can be used by non-skate skiers. However, those on classic skis or snowshoes are asked to stay to the side of the trail.
- EASY STREET: This trail is a one mile loop trail accessed from the Logger’s Loop Trail. This will be the first skate trail groomed. Follow the light blue trail markers.
- LOGGER'S LOOP: This loop is a 6 mile loop trail linking restored logging and skid trails. Skiers will experience varied terrain, a few narrow spots and a hairpin turn thrown in for good measure. Follow the dark green trail markers.
- FOX RUN: This trail is a half mile connector trail accessed via Logger’s Loop. It provides a way for skiers to avoid steep terrain on Logger’s Loop. Follow the dark red trail markers..
- SKIDDER TRAIL: This trail cuts across the silviculture area of the VIC. Skiers can explore varied hard and soft wood forests and plantation pines in different stages of succession and management. Varied animal tracks are often visible. Follow the orange trail markers.
Snowshoe trails are typically packed by snowshoers. Most designated snowshoe trails can be skied on with adequate snow and appropriate skier ability. Leashed, well-behaved dogs are allowed on the snowshoe trails. Dog owners are asked to sign their dog in and clean up after it. The VIC reserves the right to ask dog owners to remove their dog from the VIC property.
- BOREAL LIFE TRAIL: This trail is an approximately 1 mile loop with two access trails either from the gazebo near the parking lot or an intersection with the Jenkins Mountain Road. The trail wanders through a forest of pine, spruce, fir, hemlock, cedar, tamarack, and mixed hardwoods. A significant feature of the trail is the 1600’ long boardwalk that allows visitors to explore life in a spruce swamp and bog. Follow the orange trail markers.
- JENKINS MOUNTAIN TRAIL: This is a 4.5 mile (one way) trail with many route choice options. Snowshoers can choose to follow the Jenkins Mountain Road, which is also used by skate skiers. For a more sylvan experience, follow the designated dark blue trail markers through a mixture of woods trails and long sections of an old logging road. Noteworthy features include eskers, beaver ponds and 2514’ mountain summit. This trail is often packed to the beaver ponds for classic skiing. Follow the dark blue trail markers.
- BLACK POND: This is a 2.5 mile trail accessed via either the Long Pond Trail or the Keese Mills Road trail head. The loop offers a variety of features including lean-tos, mixed forests, a fish barrier dam, varied mature forests and plentiful animal signs. Follow the dark orange trail markers.
- LONG POND TRAIL: This is a half-mile trail between the Jenkins Mountain Trail and the Black Pond Trail. It runs along the western shore of Long Pond. In places, the trail is narrow and side cut. Follow the light green trail markers.
- BARNUM BROOK TRAIL: This one-mile loop trail begins at the gazebo near the VIC parking lot and meanders through second-growth forest to two overlooks with good views of Heron Marsh and St. Regis Mountain. Follow the light blue markers.
Winter Trail Use Guidelines
- When there is adequate snow cover, the trails are open from 9 AM to 5 PM.
- Snoeshoes or skis are required when the trails are groomed.
- Winter trail users are asked to stay on the marked trails.
- Please do not try to create new routes.
- Please do not go out on the ice.
- Report trail maintenance needs to the VIC staff.
- Some trails are designated for skijoring (dog-drawn skiing). Skijorers are welcome at the VIC on Sunday and Wednesday mornings.
- Follow the New York State Safety in Skiing Code.